Very few countries are blessed with an instantly recognisable national cocktail – yet Singapore, which celebrates its independence from Malaysia today, is permanently associated with the Singapore Sling, a staple in bars across the city-state.
The spiritual home of the Singapore Sling is, of course, the Raffles Hotel, a vast, colonial Christmas cake of a hotel whose Long Bar has played home to stars and literati from Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling to Noël Coward, Charlie Chaplin and Ava Gardner. Sadly, the Singapore Slings served in the Long Bar today are a very far cry from the original drink that Hainan-Chinese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created, perhaps back in 1915. This take on the long-lost original recipe incorporates the Singapore Sling's key ingredients - Cherry Heering liqueur, fresh pineapple, citrus, Bénédictine, gin, grenadine, bitters, triple sec and soda - in a refreshing, non-syrupy long drink.
Watch 90 bartending legends make their versions of a Singapore Sling